50 Candles For TRAFFIC And HARRY NILSSON

Back in time

Band: TRAFFIC
Who: A psychedelic prog-rock supergroup feat.
Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason
Active: 1967–1969, 1970–1974, 1994-2004 / 8 studio albums

Anniversary album: THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS – 5th LP
Released: 1 November 1971 – 50 years ago today

All Music said: “The LP marked the commercial and artistic apex of the second
coming of Traffic. The result was an album that quickly went gold and then platinum
in the U.S., where the group toured frequently.
” Score: 4,5/5.

Stream here…

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TRAFFIC: History

Artist: HARRY NILSON
Who: Celebrated singer-songwriter from L.A.
June 15, 1941 – January 15, 1994
Active: Started his career in 1958 / 16 studio albums

Anniversary album: NILSSON SCHMILSSON – 7th LP
The one with his classic hit Without You
Released: 1 November 1971 – 50 years ago today

AllMusic said: “It’s a near-perfect summary of everything Nilsson could do,
he could be craftier and stranger, but never did he achieve the perfect balance
as he did here.”
Score: 4,5/5.

Stream here…

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HARRY NILSSON: History

Gone But Not Forgotten! THE TEARDROP EXPLODES

Three top tracks from the past by top artists/bands from the past

Band: TEARDROP EXPLODES
Who: Post-punk pop group from Liverpool formed in 1978
with genial eccentric Julian Cope as the orchestrator.

Active: 1978-1982
Albums: 3 – Kilimanjaro (1980), Wilder (1981)
and Everybody Wants to Shag… The Teardrop Explodes
with material recorded in the middle of the 1982 split,
but not released until 1990.

1-2-3 top tracks…

– REWARD –
(Single from debut LP – #6 on the UK Charts)

– TREASON –
(3rd single from debut LP – #18 on UK Charts)

– PASSIONATE FRIEND –
(Single from ‘Wilder’ – #25 on UK Charts)

TEARDROP EXPLODES: History

(Band image: the cover of debut LP ‘Kilimanjaro’)

WILCO – Stonesesque ‘BEING THERE’ Album Released 25 Years Ago

Back in time

29 October 2021

Band: WILCO (Chicago)
Who: Singer-songwriter Jeff Tweedy‘s combo
Active: Since 1994 / 11 LPs so far

Anniversary album: BEING THERE 2nd LP
Released: 29 October 1996 – 25 years ago today

AllMusic wrote; “Being There’s 19 tracks are individually outstanding, and taken
together, they add up to a three-way cross between Neil Young’s Harvest, the Rolling
Stones’ Exile on Main St., and Big Star’s 3rd that still leaves room for some impressive
tricks of its own. If Being There isn’t Wilco’s best album, it’s the one that staked their
claim as an important American band, and it’s a rich, dazzling experience from
beginning to end.”
Full review here. Score: 4.5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: First big Wilco triumph, several to follow.

Singles: Outtasite (Outta Mind) / Monday

– OUTTASITE (OUTTA MIND) –

– MONDAY –

Stream full album on Spotify…

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WILCO: Facebook – All Albums

20 Candles For THE HIVES – PULP – APHEX TWIN

22 October 2021

Band: THE HIVES (Sweden)
Album: YOUR NEW FAVOURITE BAND – 3rd LP
Actually a compilation of tracks of their first 2 CD’s
to get them going in the UK and the US

Released: 22 October 2001 – 20 years ago today

Stream link…

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THE HIVES: All Albums

Band: PULP (Sheffield UK)
Album: WE LOVE LIFE
Their 7th and final album, a ‘not commerce
orientated one
‘ but much loved by the critics.

Released: 22 October 2001 – 20 years ago today

Stream link…

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PULP: All Albums

Artist: APHEX TWIN
The musical moniker of British
electronic wizard Richard David James
Album: DRUKQS – 5th LP

Released: 22 October 2001 – 20 years ago today

Stream link…

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APHEX TWIN: All Albums

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – One Of Their Most Notorious Live Albums ‘WELD’ Released 30 Years Ago

Back in time

21 October 2021

Band: NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE

Anniversary album: WELD

A live album – 2CDs – containing recordings from the Ragged Glory tour.
Initially released as a limited-edition 3 CD set entitled Arc-Weld, with the
Arc part a single CD with just a collage of guitar noise and feedback.

Released: 22 October 1991

AllMusic said: “Where Young’s previous double live album, Live Rust, which bore some similarities to this one, was a career retrospective including some acoustic numbers, Weld
was all electric rock with Crazy Horse. The one previously unreleased song was a Gulf War
era cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” complete with gunshots and exploding bombs.
In retrospect, Weld seems like an excellent expression of one part of Young’s musical persona, putting some of his best hard rock material onto one album.”

Full review: here. Score: 4.5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: The number of Neil Young live albums is huge by now, and they’re still coming frequently from the living legend’s inexhaustible Archives, but Weld is one of the best, a mammoth monument to frame.

Full album…

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NEIL YOUNG: Website

BABYBIRD – Gorgeous Album ‘UGLY BEAUTIFUL’ Turns 25

20 October 2021

Artist: BABYBIRD
Who: The musical project of Stephen Jones
Albums: About a million – dive into his discography on
Bandcamp starting with An Introduction To Babybird

Anniversary album: UGLY BEAUTIFUL – 6th LP
Released: 21 October 1996 – 25 years ago tomorrow

Independent (UK newspaper) wrote at the time: Another South Yorkshire sexual
ironist to set alongside Jarvis, Babybird’s Stephen Jones delves here into clefts and
crannies most people would rather leave unprobed. Dizzy with the deceptive power of
words, for instance, he never leaves a pun unspoken… the most noticeable result of Jones’s decision to re-record several of the songs from his four previous solo Baby Bird LPs with his
new backing band, a durable group able to turn their hand to all manner of pop strategies, from the wistful Mediterranean MOR of “Bad Shave” to the trip-hop of “Atomic Soda”. The improvements are significant. It’s not just that the songs sound less like dashed-off demos – there is also an increased depth of musical character to them, which renders them more
like collective notions rather than the mad imaginings of a marginalised loner.

Turn Up The Volume: In a ‘normal’ world Jones should be up there with the best singer/songwriters/crooners such as Nick Cave, Matt Berninger, Matt Sweeney, Leonard Cohen (no, I’m not an idiot), and several other mood swing artists who love to mess
up your mind, heart, and soul.

Ugly Beautiful is where Jones translates his imaginative and twisted world into brilliant pop songs like Goodnight, Jesus Is My Girlfriend (song title!), Atomic Soda, Dead Birds Sing (tower of song) and of course the hits, You’re So Gorgeous and Candy Girl . Fuck the normal world, Ugly Beautiful is a masterpiece in my twisted world.

Singles/clips: Goodnight / You’re Gorgeous / Candy Girl

– GOODNIGHT –

– YOU’RE GORGEOUS –

– CANDY GIRL –

Full album…

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BABYBIRD: Twitter

Post-Punk Misfits FUGAZI Released Their 6th Album ‘THE ARGUMENT’ 20 Years Ago Today

Back in time

16 October 2021

Band: FUGAZI (Washington D.C.)
Active: 1986–2003 / 6 studio albums

Anniversary album: THE ARGUMENT
Their sixth and probably final longplayer. The band’s members still
make music, together now and then. Joe Lally and Brendan Canty play
together with instrumental act the Messthetics.

Released: 16 October 2001 – 20 years ago today

Stereogum says: “The Argument is a major work, a remarkable piece of music.
Very few bands could make something that powerful more than a decade after
their debut. Only one band could make an album like that while occupying a
cultural-figurehead position that must’ve made everyone in the band profoundly uncomfortable.”
Full review here.

Turn Up The Volume: Some critics hated them by the time this LP came out, they
labeled the band as sell-outs and elitists. But most of the critics adored them and
praised them for their integrity and class. The Argument is iron cast heavy guitar
loaded post-punk. Both rowdy and reflective, both dynamic and at times melodic,
and always tackling social issues. For my greedy ears, there’s no argument
whatsoever to dismiss this remarkable Fugazi record.

Full album


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FUGAZI: Bio

20 Candles For STARSAILOR And DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE

Back in time

9 October 2021

Band: STARSAILOR (Warrington, England)
Who: Guitar pop quartet
Active: 2000–2009, 2014-present / 5 studio albums

Anniversary album: LOVE IS HERE – debut LP
Released: 8 October 2001 – 20 years ago
Score: #2 in the UK

AllMusic said: They didn’t go for a grand bombast of crashing guitars
and angst-ridden stories similar to Oasis and Manic Street Preachers.
They go for something more positive as well — each song soars with
intricate musicianship and melodic lushness.
Score: 4/5.

Key single: Good Souls…

Full Album…

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STARSAILOR: Facebook

Band: DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
Who: Indie rockers from Bellingham, Washington
Active: 1997–present / 9 studio albums

Anniversary album: THE PHOTO ALBUM 3rd LP
Released: 9 October 2001 – 20 years ago

AllMusic said: “For once, a band’s popularity grew commensurate
with its maturation… The world needs more superb pop with brains
and heart and emotional complexity.”
Score 3/5.

Key single: A Movie Script Ending…

Full album…

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DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Facebook

BECK Released 10th Album ‘THE INFORMATION’ 15 Years Ago Today

Back in time

3 October 2021

Artist: BECK (Los Angeles)
Active: Since 1985 / 14 studio LPs

Anniversary album: THE INFORMATION – 10th LP
Released: 4 October 2006 – 15 years ago today
Score: #7 in the US, #6 in Canada

Rolling Stone said: “One of the best albums Beck has ever made,
starts with him going backward. “Elevator Music” is a mundane jumble
of talking blues and hip-hop bricolage that sounds like it should be on
a record called ‘More Mellow Gold’. The rest of The Information is just as
dense in its rhyme games, rhythmic details and overdub antics. But it is
a compelling overload, combining the sample-delic bloom of Beck’s best-
loved album, Odelay, and the folk-pop introspection of his least-understood,
2002’s Sea Change.”

Turn Up The Volume: Most of the critics praised and lauded the LP,
but to my ears – except for some strong moments like Elevator Music /
Nausea / Dark Star / The Information
– it’s a bit too much the Beck
we know for so long.

Singles/Clips: Nausea / Cellphone’s Dead / Think I’m In Love

– NAUSEA –

– CELLPHONE’S DEAD –

– THINK I’M IN LOVE –

Full album…

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BECK: All Albums

PUBLIC ENEMY – 30 Flaming Candles For Master Rap Work ‘APOCALYPSE 91… THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK’

Back in time

1 October 2021

Band: PUBLIC ENEMY
Active: 1985-present / 15 studio albums (so far)

Anniversary album: APOCALYPSE 91… THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK
Released: 24 September 1991 – 30 years ago, last week
Score: #4 on the USA Billbaord 200, #1 on the hip-hop-rap albums chart

AllMusic / Stephen Thomas Erlewine: “Coming down after the twin high-water marks
of ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions’ and ‘Fear of a Black Planet’, Public Enemy shifted strategy
a bit for their fourth album, Apocalypse 91… Arriving after two records where the words and music were equally labyrinthine, folding back on each other in dizzying, intoxicating ways, it
is a bit of a letdown to have Apocalypse be so direct, but there is no denying that the end result is still thrilling and satisfying, and remains one of the great records of the golden age of hip-hop.”
Full review here. Score: 5/5.

Turn Up the Volume: My all-time favorite raging-and-roaring-rap motherfuckers.
They still beat them all today and a dangerous part of white America still fears a black nation. Even a nation of millions can’t hold Public Enemy back from bringing on the noise and shut the racists, sexists, and fascists down. Chuck D. and his loudmouthed gang ruled then, rule now and will do so in the future. Raise the roof!

Singles/clips: Bring The Noise / Can’t Truss It / Shut Em Down

– CAN’T TRUSS IT –

– SHUT EM DOWN –

Full album…

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PUBLIC ENEMY: Facebook – All Albums